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Sun February 9, 2014
UPDATE: Star Basketball Player Marcus Smart Suspended 3 Games After Shoving Fan
Update, 5:14 p.m.: Oklahoma State's star basketball player, Marcus Smart, has been suspended for three games after he shoved a fan Saturday night during an altercation at the end of a game against Texas Tech in Lubbock.
The university held a press conference late Sunday afternoon, and Marcus Smart spoke briefly. "I really apologize," Smart said. "This is not me."
Coach Travis Ford would not go into detail about the exchange Smart had with the Texas Tech fan that led to the run-in. "I think Marcus puts a lot of pressure on himself, and it's something we've worked on," Ford said.
Our original post: Eight weeks from now, the basketball world's spotlight will focus on North Texas, when the NCAA men's championship tips off at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. This weekend, the area took the national stage early, in ways good (SMU's rise to national prominence), bad and ugly (Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart shoving a fan).
First, the good: SMU, one of college basketball's surprise teams, blew out Cincinnati on Saturday night at Moody Coliseum. It was SMU's first win against a top 10 school in nearly 30 years, and joyous Mustang fans stormed the court.
Just an hour later came the bad. It involved Smart, a graduate of Marcus High School in Flower Mound and a contender for national player of the year. But Oklahoma State stumbled to its fourth straight loss Saturday, this time to unheralded Texas Tech in Lubbck.
And the game's end got downright ugly: With six seconds left and his team down by two points, Smart committed a foul and fell into the crowd. As he climbed to his feet, the 19-year-old sophomore got into an altercation with a Texas Tech fan that ended with Smart shoving the much older man.
Referees called a technical foul, Tech won, fans rushed the court, and Smart had to be physically restrained on his way to the locker room. (Here's ESPN's video recap.)
The moment was unprecedented: A few NBA players have brawled with rowdy fans, but experts couldn't recall it happening before in the college game. The Big 12 conference doesn't even have rules governing this kind of situation.